Nathan Grills the Fisheries Minister on the Budget
January 28th, 2009 - 12:00pm
Madam Speaker, I was looking through the budget document and found that there is actually one small craft harbour in Atlantic Canada that is getting more funding than all of British Columbia combined by a stretch. I am wondering about the balance.
Prior to the break, the minister committed to me that she was willing to come up to the northwest coast of British Columbia. We are still waiting on her presence there so she can hear from workers involved in the fishery industry. Those workers have watched as the number of commercial boats has decreased from 750 down to 150. The employment insurance adjustments that they have been calling for within the fishery industry for years are absent from the budget. They are not there. This is the number one thing asked for consistently by fishing communities.
The hatchery program on the west coast has been decimated by this budget, the one before it, and the one before that. That is mostly volunteer work that the government has to seed with a small amount of money to allow for the restoration of the west coast stocks that have been so decimated.
Do we find any of these points in the budget? Not at all. If my dear friend from Atlantic Canada sitting on the Liberal benches is so upset with the budget and these measures, he has a clear option and choice ahead of him, which he will not take.